I work with a lot of whip-smart women who are rocking it in the business world.
When they meet with me for the first time about maternity leave planning, one of the fears that often comes up is whether or not they will succeed at this parenting and motherhood thing.
There’s so much that you simply don’t know! And like many transitions, the learning curve can feel steep.
The first thing I remind clients is that there was probably a time in your professional life where it all felt pretty new and overwhelming — but you have been able to tackle challenges and come out on the other side! If you can do it in business, you can certainly do it in motherhood.
Which is where today’s guest post comes from. Lucy Cantley is the founder of MBA to Motherhood, which is built on the premise that many of your business skills are transferable to motherhood. She built her own business while pregnant and drew heavily from her MBA and startup background to help her navigate new territory.
I’ll let Lucy take it from here…
Scheduling & Time Management Skills
Business professionals and entrepreneurs have normally had to develop scheduling and time management skills to make sure ‘all the things’ get done. I know when my work to-do list feels overwhelming, scheduling, or ‘batching,’ my time helps me keep focused on the task at hand. Likewise, creating a routine has helped my business have a better flow. This skill is invaluable once a baby gets added to your family. Babies and children thrive on routine, as will you, and having a healthy appreciating for routine and scheduling will make your transition to motherhood that little bit smoother.
Outsourcing & Delegating Skills
In business, we learn that sometimes we’re not the best person to be doing a particular task or our schedules simply don’t allow us to do everything. This is where delegating to our team, or outsourcing to an expert makes our professional lives easier. Delegation and outsourcing skills can help you avoid feeling like an overwhelmed new mom. Exhausted? Ask Dad to cover baby duties while you rest. Struggling to work while watching a newborn? Outsource childcare and hire a babysitter for a few hours.
Planning & Organization Skills
Planning ahead in business, and keeping organized with business-related tasks, helps your company become a smooth-running machine. As a parent, thinking through possible scenarios, and planning ahead can help avoid parenting-challenges escalate into parenting-nightmares. A diaper-blowout isn’t quite as bad if you have the tools you need on hand to quickly deal (a change of clothes, plenty of wipes, diapers and a cool head!).
When you become a parent, you become a leader (like it, or not!). For some, these new found leadership responsibilities might be a whole new territory. However, as a business owner, you will have the advantage of having experienced leadership. Skills like making tough decisions, budgeting, motivating a team, ensuring tasks get completed and developing/mentoring your team will help you be a better parent.
Strong Work Ethic & Problem-Solving Skills
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s a whole lot of hard work! Likewise, motherhood is hard work, especially in the early days of nurturing a newborn baby. Business owners have a head-start on the road to parenthood by having a healthy appreciation for hard work (and skills in coming up with creative solutions to make things easier). Additionally, using entrepreneurial problem-solving skills can also help you deal with the ever-evolving role of a being a mother.
Want more resources about business & motherhood? Check out Chapter 9 of The Expecting Entrepreneur.
Lucy Cantley is a soon-to-be first-time mother, MBA graduate, and entrepreneur. She runs MBA to Motherhood, a resource to help new and expectant mothers become the CEO of their home and growing family. Her motto? “Informed. Prepared. Empowered”.